Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Thoughts and Ideas
by Max Smith
2004-09-01

This article shared 2458 times since Wed Sep 1, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Acclaimed film producer Michael Moore broke all records for popularity for a documentary movie with Fahrenheit 9-11. Cultural conservatives successfully blocked CBS-TV from broadcasting a biography of Ronald Reagan because it showed how totally indifferent his presidential administration was to the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. That those same conservatives wanted to keep Fahrenheit 9-11 out of movie theaters made me want to see it even more. The first time I saw it, several scenes made me laugh out loud. At several other points the film's footage, never shown on TV news, made me angry and disgusted with the political system. When I saw it a second time, I kept emotions in check and focused on the very riveting dialog.

For instance, near the opening of the movie several members of the Congressional Black Caucus asked the U.S. Senate again and again to debate and discuss the hotly disputed November 2000 electoral college vote total. Sen. Lieberman nor any other senator would sign a petition to challenge the 537 Florida votes that allowed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to cast the deciding vote to give the election to Bush. That situation is why it is so important that Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama be elected to the U.S. Senate this year.

All through this film the haunting question is posed: How could that happen? The answer is shown with behind-the-scenes looks at the forces of power and privilige in America.

Maybe because it was the era of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War and the end of legal slavery, the 1960s were a time of optimism. In the 1960s people felt American society was capable of achieving any and all good things. People had hopeful optimism that anyone could be successful as long as you worked hard and played by the rules.

Cynicism set in when people with violent and corrupt ideals got power.

In August 1964 President Johnson told Congress a U.S. ship was fired upon by North Vietnamese Communists. With no verified proof of that statement (which later was proven to be false), Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which gave the President power to wage war against North Vietnam. In 2002 Bush asked for and got from Congress authority to wage war against Iraq based on the misleading, exaggerated claim of a grave threat posed by Iraq's possession of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

Against a pre-existing fear of Communism in 1964 and fear of terrorism in 2002, both presidents took advantage of having the benefit of doubt in a trusting public. In both wars a disproportionately large number of poor people became soldiers. In both wars the winners were the manufacturers of the weapons of war. Military contractors were wined and dined by Bush who called them the 'haves and the have mores.' There seemed to be no limit to how much they were paid, thru the creation of record U.S. budget deficits. Bush said, 'Some people call you the elites, I call you my base,' to a lavish banquet of millionaires.

Society is structured in the U.S. to allow individuals with initiative to prosper. But when tax cuts are targeted to benefit only the folks in the top 1% income bracket at the same time public school funding is cut, unfair affirmative action, preferential treatment and quotas are given to rich people. Trouble is that not too many people voice objection!

Many people are lured into ignorance of the world by weapons of mass distraction such as Xbox video games, and entertainment-only television. Those news-free TV channels celebrate the bling-bling lifestyles of the rich and famous and violent. Some people are well aware of evil and social injustice but choose not to be actively involved: falsely thinking that their participation in the system won't make a difference. Other people, steeped in the ethic of being never cooperative, ever competitive, want to be rich and are ruthless in that quest. They have no patience for those they'd call 'losers.'

Will there ever be a time when there is equal opportunity for poor people? Will healthcare ever become available to all people? Will public schools in big cities ever graduate 100% of their students with literacy sufficient for college or workplace responsibilities? It is hard to imagine such idealistic questions getting a yes answer.

The advances society has made over the past century give hope for the future. But change happens only when people ask tough questions and demand improvement in life. Faith must overcome fear. Here's hoping you will vote (for Sen. Kerry and Sen. Obama) Nov. 2, 2004. Stay informed. Read a newspaper every day, a magazine evey week, and a book every month. Maintain your values and optimism. Then get involved.


This article shared 2458 times since Wed Sep 1, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWS How same-sex couples can ensure parenting rights if Supreme Court reverses Obergefell 2022-06-30
By Jeffery M. Leving - After the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last week, many are now wondering if the court would go after same-sex marriage next. Justice Samuel Alito, in his majority decision, wrote that nothing in its ...


Gay News

Survey: Americans hold complex views on gender identity and trans+ Issues 2022-06-29
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2022) — As the United States addresses issues of transgender rights and the broader landscape around gender identity continues to shift, the American public holds a complex set of views around these ...


Gay News

VIEWS Workers' rights are LGBTQ+ rights 2022-06-27
- June usually marks a joyous month for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies as we reflect on the decades of hard work that our community and movement have put into securing and promoting our civil rights. ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese ruling, Pride events, Colombia election, Boris Johnson 2022-06-26
- A Japanese court ruled that the country's ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their right to free union and equality has been violated, ...


Gay News

How Coming Out in the 1970s Helped Me Make Brave, Life-changing Decisions 2022-06-25
By Edith Forbes, author of Tracking A Shadow: My Lived Experiment With MS - As a child growing up in Wyoming in the 1960's, I did not know any actual person who was gay. I knew exactly one fact about gay people, a fact universally accepted but never talked about: Gay people were strange. Even ...


Gay News

VIEWS The gay general at Valley Forge 2022-06-18
- Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben was born on Sept. 17, 1730, in Magdeburg, Germany. Son of a military father, Friedrich joined the Prussian army— considered the most advanced professional army in Europe at the ...


Gay News

VIEWS Introductory speech at the IML/IMBB 2022 contest 2022-06-04
- Note: International Mr. Leather (IML) 2022 and International Mr. Bootblack (IMBB) 2022 took place May 26-30 in Chicago. At the culminating contest on May 29, Chuck Renslow Charitable Foundation President ...


Gay News

LETTER Homophobia on The Maze Jackson show 2022-06-02
- NOTE: Maze Jackson—who hosts"The Most Dangerous Social-Radio Show in Chicago" on weekday mornings at WBGX 1570AM—is the husband of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President and Cook County assessor candidate Kari ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT: LETTERS Pride: Remembering who we are 2022-05-30
- The LGBTQAI community echoes the mantra of secular society: Happiness comes from sex, money and power. Life is too busy with work and leisure to have time for religion and/or values. During this period of Pride ...


Gay News

VIEWS Another 'Handmaid's Tale,' or sex and the supreme Catholics 2022-05-24
- Amy Vivian Coney Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett is only the fifth woman ever to serve on the Court. She is also the sixth Catholic ...


Gay News

'LGBTQ Rights on the Line: The Role of Communicators Advocating for Equality' event preview 2022-05-22
-- From a press release - Celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Pride Month is more important this year than ever (and it should be celebrated all year, not just during one month). The expected Supreme Court ruling that will undermine the right to ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry 2022-05-06
- It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

VIEWS Biden, Democrats must end Title 42 now 2022-04-26
- The Biden Administration should honor its commitment to immediately end Title 42 restrictions which were imposed by former President Donald Trump, to deny asylum seekers their basic, protected rights. It would be a mistake for Democrats ...


Gay News

VIEWS The closing of civil society: Russia and the U.S., or fear the queer! 2022-04-23
- Putin's invasion of Ukraine has made manifest the fragility of civil society in Russia and the strength of civil society in Ukraine. It has also once again focused an intense spotlight on our own civil society. ...


Gay News

LETTERS A difference in opinion about Vatican document 2022-04-07
- I am responding to DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burks, who issued a press release that Windy City Times published. A newly released document from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education could trigger a new wave of ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.